FAO, EBRD to private sector: Invest responsibly in agriculture

Suma Chakrabarti, president of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development delivers his opening remarks during the Conference on Private Sector and Food Security held in Istanbul, Turkey. Photo by: Ozan Kose / ©FAO

The importance of partnership emerged as the key theme of a one-day high-level food security conference held Sept. 13 in Istanbul, Turkey.

The conference was co-hosted by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization and featured private agriculture and agribusiness companies. It focused on promoting private sector investments in the agriculture sectors of the Mediterranean countries.

“This meeting is another step forward to helping the private sector to enhance production and employment, using the expertise of the EBRD and FAO in the food and agricultural sectors,” EBRD President Suma Chakrabarti said.

The conference also reflected a call made by the heads of FAO and EBRD in a recent opinion piece: Private sector companies need to increase responsible investments in agriculture to help solve long-term food security issues. EBRD and FAO also reiterated their call for better and more enabling investment environments.

“There can be no freedom from hunger — there can be no food security — without the active participation of all sectors of society, including the private sector,’’ FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva said.

Investments also need not be limited to financial and in-kind contributions, da Silva stressed as he urged private sector companies to also lend political support to efforts to boost global food security.

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    Ivy Mungcal

    As former senior staff writer, Ivy Mungcal contributed to several Devex publications. Her focus is on breaking news, and in particular on global aid reform and trends in the United States, Europe, the Caribbean, and the Americas. Before joining Devex in 2009, Ivy produced specialized content for U.S. and U.K.-based business websites.